Welcome to the 376th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
In the tech world, 2005 was a period of bold ideas and exciting breakthroughs
-- shadowed, at times, by devastating reversals.
New software apps changed the way we looked at the world, while hardware
got smaller, faster and more fun. On the net, blogs provided many of the
most dramatic moments, sometimes courting lawsuits, other times taking us
places we could not otherwise go: New Orleans, Iraq, even inside the twisted
mind of an accused killer.
As we begin what's certain to be an exciting new year of Yahoo acquisitions
and rising Google stock, it's perhaps a good time to stop and reflect on
the highs and lows of the year that was. Here are our picks for the 10 best
tech moments of 2005.
Michele Neylon was once very happy with Urchin Software Corp., which provides
a service to analyze Web site traffic.
But ever since search giant Google Inc. bought Urchin in March, he's changed
his tune. His problem is with Google's customer service.
If you choose to deal with Urchin in the Google era, you will not get any
personal attention and will have no indication of who you are actually
dealing with. For all I know, all my e-mails could be answered by a computer," said
the managing director of Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd., a Web hosting
and domain registrar.
Everybody loves Google. Google can do no wrong. I would disagree."
Since its launch in 1995, Google Inc. has built up a 400 million-plus customer
following that arguably has the same level of endearment as the infamously-smitten
Apple Computer devotees.
But the honeymoon is clearly now ending. An uncharacteristically high level
of frustration about Google, and more specifically its customer service,
has been boiling away for months, according to online rants, Google customer
surveys and several recent interviews with Google users.
The war for control of the next-generation DVD is approaching a critical
juncture: next week in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show, companies
championing the two competing high-definition DVD standards - Blu-ray and
HD-DVD - will unveil their lineups of new players and movie titles.
There are growing signs, though, that the battle for supremacy in this
multibillion-dollar market may yield a hollow victory. As electronics makers,
technology companies and Hollywood studios haggle over the fine points of
their formats, consumers are quickly finding alternatives to buying and renting
packaged DVD's, high definition or otherwise.
A 69-year-old grandmother has become the heroine of young video-game fans
and the star of a Web log created by her grandson.
Barbara St. Hilaire plays video games 10 hours a day and spends a good part
of her Social Security check on games.
St. Hilaire thinks the blog and media attention she's gotten is funny but
doesn't quite understand it. However, she appreciates the free games showered
on her by video game makers who want to share in the reflected glare of publicity.
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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